Lab Report - Photosynthesis Through Carbon Dioxide Release...

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Photosynthesis Through Carbon Dioxide Release and Thin Layer Chromatography Lisa Marie Migliorisi November 3, 2010
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Introduction : Photosynthesis is the most important series of chemical reactions that occur on earth. Practically all life depends on photosynthesis for food and oxygen. Photosynthesis is a complex process that converts light, captured by pigments, to chemical energy. Photosynthesis is the light- dependent and chlorophyll-dependant conversion of carbon dioxide and water to sugar, water, and oxygen. 6CO 2 + 6H 2 O + energy C 6 H 12 O 6 + 6O 2 Carbon dioxide combines with water to form carbonic acid which separates into hydrogen ions and bicarbonate ions. The pH drops due to the presences of hydrogen ions. During photosynthesis, plants take in CO 2 and the pH increases. Phenol red is a pH-indicator that turns yellow in an acidic solution and become red in a neutral to basic solution. Based on these facts it seems as though water infused with carbon dioxide would have a yellow color when mixed with phenol red and water lacking carbon dioxide would remain the same color red that phenol red is. During photosynthesis, light energy is absorbed by photosynthetic pigments. Chlorophyll A is the main photosynthetic pigment but chlorophyll B, carotenes, and xanthophylls also absorb light. Each pigment absorbs a specific range of colors. When all the pigments work together they enable a plant to use a larger amount of light. These pigments absorb red and blue light best and absorb green the least. This is why plants look green. Green light is not absorbed, it is reflected back.
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Chromatography is a method of separating mixtures of two or more compounds. It
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Lab Report - Photosynthesis Through Carbon Dioxide Release...

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